Relive The 1968 Detroit Tigers Pennant Winning Moment [Video]
The Detroit Tigers rolled to the American League title 50 years ago on September 17, 1968. And they did it the way they won games all year, by coming from behind to win.
When you're nine years old, baseball is your life. Not just playing it with your friends in the parking lots of warehouses, but watching your heroes, the Detroit Tigers on TV.
1968 was a special year for me, because it was a time when I had an insane love of baseball.
Later I would find out the hard way that I wasn't very good at baseball, and football and basketball would take its place. But for that one shining moment, the 1968 Detroit Tigers were my world, and on that one night, September 17, 1968, they rallied late like they had all season to defeat the New York Yankees and win the American League pennant. It feels like it was just yesterday.
The call of the final out from legendary Tiger broadcaster Ernie Harwell went like this:
This big crowd here ready to break loose. Three men on, two men out. Game tied, 1-1, in the ninth inning. McDaniel checking his sign with Jake Gibbs. The tall right-hander ready to go to work again, and the windup, and the pitch…He swings, a line shot, base hit, right field, the Tigers win it! Here comes Kaline to score and it’s all over! Don Wert singles, the Tigers mob Don, Kaline has scored…The fans are streaming on the field…And the Tigers have won their first pennant since nineteen hundred and forty-five. Let’s listen to the bedlam here at Tiger Stadium!
Listening on my clock radio in my bedroom, I had no one to high five or celebrate with, but my sister called me downstairs to watch the news, who had broken in with live shots from the Tiger clubhouse, and the tradition of pouring champagne over each other to celebrate became known to me.
Now, special booths are set up to interview the players post championship, but what I love about this is the primitiveness of the broadcast, almost as a chaotic as the celebration itself. And this first video features 30 game winner Denny McLain, the last player to win 30 games in a single season.
This video features Hall of Famer Al Kaline, Dick Tracewski and Jim Northrup.
The last video features hitting coach Wally Moses getting hit in the face with some shaving cream which has entered the celebration.